We would like to address any concern that may have created by today’s Letter to the Editor.
As local businesses are strong supporters of local hockey, the Timmins Chamber of Commerce as a business association and community partner has worked very hard to accommodate the Schumacher Day Minor Hockey Association’s request to move the Nova Awards so they may use the McIntyre Arena on April 10.
After countless hours of investigating municipal facilities and recommending alternative dates, the Chamber was informed by the City on Nov. 25 that we would retain our April 10 booking, as relocating the tournament to the McIntyre would incur costs for rapid ice removal for an event following the tournament. The tournament relocation would generate these costs whether or not the Chamber were to move to an earlier or later date, as there are other community, non-Chamber events booked in that timeframe.
In fact, the City melts the ice every year after March 31 to turn the McIntyre Arena into a multipurpose facility to host local groups and events whose size means they cannot be located anywhere else in Timmins; this includes the Home Show, the Sportsman Show, and the Porcupine Prospectors and Developers Association. With 600 attendees every year, including many out-of-town visitors, the Nova Awards are one such event as it requires three full days to set up.
As such, the City notified us that we were to keep to our original date, which we had booked immediately following our last Nova Awards -- something the Schumacher Day Minor Hockey Association was aware of when they made their tournament bid, which was submitted to be hosted at the Sportsplex.
We have exhausted every single option to allow this tournament to occur at the McIntyre Arena. In further consultation with the City, we have offered to move our event to May 22 after additional review of the Mac schedule of events. The decision is now in the hands of City Council as to whether they wish to use additional funds to support ice removal to allow this tournament to be held at the McIntyre Arena rather than the Sportsplex to honour their prior commitments to facility users.
The Chamber remains a strong supporter of the City and looks forward to the resolution of this matter by Council for the community.